[the earliest planned Conrad film] Agreement between Fiction Pictures Inc. and Joseph Conrad (with Ford Madox Hueffer added in in ink). Seven typed pages within legal folder of Stern & Reubenstein, New York, dated 5 March 1915. The first six pages are initialed a total of seven times by both authors, and the last page is signed in full by both.
The novel ROMANCE, published in 1903, was one of several books co-authored by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Hueffer. Twelve years later, in return for an advance of $500 and 50% of royalties, Conrad and Hueffer here signed an agreement to grant Fiction Pictures Inc. exclusive worldwide rights to the story. Interestingly, the typed contract is between only Conrad and Fiction Pictures; Hueffer's name and address were added in ink. Also interestingly, on page 2 there is a clause, "deleted before signature" and initialed by both authors, which would have granted Fiction Pictures the same rights (and terms) to the author's next novel to be published. The final page is signed in full by both authors, each with the signature of a witness, and also bears the 1914-dated corporate seal of Fiction Pictures Inc. and the signature of its Corporate Secretary.~This contract constitutes THE EARLIEST PLANNED FILM OF ANY OF CONRAD'S NOVELS. But "planned" is the operative word. Fiction Pictures Inc. was a production company founded in 1914 by novelist Louis Joseph Vance (its first film was one of his own novels). In June 1915, just three months after executing this document, Fiction Pictures went out of business and sold its Hollywood studio to Famous Players Film Company. Thus Fiction never produced a film of ROMANCE, and their option expired. Four years later, Lasky-Famous Players (the predecessor to Paramount) acquired the rights to four Conrad novels including ROMANCE, and a silent film based on ROMANCE was finally produced in 1927, three years after Conrad's death. Housed in a custom clamshell case. Item #12669